ESPN2 viewers, 18,000 fans, and Jurgen Klinsmann all watched the Earthquakes get shut out at home on Sunday, 1-0.
A Javier Morales free kick just before half proved to be the deciding factor in the match. San Jose’s offense, and Chris Wondolowski specifically, were shut down by the Real defense, leaving goaltender Nick Romando with little to do for most of the match.
The lone highlight of the match was Real’s goal. Earthquakes midfielder Innocent Emeghara received a yellow card for his foul a few yards outside the 18-yard box. Javier Morales’ free kick attempt was initially blocked, but the ball found its way back to Morales who volleyed home a rocket into the top right corner. The goal should win MLS Goal of the Week.
Wondo was held without a shot on goal while all Earthquakes forwards only managed one shot on goal. The Earthquakes best opportunity was an ambitious effort, a redirected cross from the end line by Sanna Nyassi, by Adam Jahn. Nays raced down the wing, rounded the corner just before the end line, and sent a low ball with pace towards the front of the goal. Jahn, streaking towards the front post, over ran the ball a bit and couldn’t get a good touch on it.
The only player to shoot more than Jahn was J.J. Koval, a 37’ sub who came on when Shaun Francis collided heads with Jordan Allen and seemed to be concussed. Koval had two tries that just sailed over the net. But besides the trio of shots by Koval and Jahn, no other San Jose Earthquake presented Nick Romando or the Real Salt Lake defense with any trouble.
However, one thing that did seem to give Real difficulty was the way San Jose took its free kicks. Twice did Matias Perez Garcia take his free kicks quickly, something Coach Steve Ralston endorses. Perez Garcia caught the Real defense setting up without concern for San Jose players. Both times led to decent chances, but no real threat as Real was able to recover.
In the 58th minute, Real defender Chris Schuler appeared to hand the ball in the box, but the referee deemed the infraction unintentional and let play continue. The incident seemed to set off Earthquakes skipper Chris Wondolowski, as he was given a yellow card for dissent in the 60th minute.
Real Salt Lake almost scored another goal when Olmes Garcia center wasn’t cleared properly by Clarence Goodson. The clear sailed up and back toward an empty San Jose net, but Victor Bernardez cleared it off the goal line. It was a tough stretch of minutes for Bernardez, who had hurt his back prior to the clearance, and was run into by Real sub Devon Sandoval after he clear the Real center.
San Jose had one last chance to tie things up in the waning moments of the game. Fatai Alashe, who recently returned from national team duty, sent one just over the bar with a spinning volley.
1 David Bingham
5 Victor Bernardez
7 Cordell Cato
8 Chris Wondolowski
10 Matias Perez Garcia
11 Innocent Emeghara
14 Adam Jahn
17 Sanna Nyassi
20 Shaun Francis
21 Clarence Goodson
27 Fatai Alashe
15 JJ Koval (37’ for Francis)
6 Shea Salinas (64’ for Nyassi)
23 Leandro Barrera (79’ for Bernardez)
Real Salt Lake
2 Tony Beltran
4 Jamison Olave
5 Kyle Beckerman
7 Jordan Allen
11 Javier Morales
13 Olmes Garcia
15 Alvaro Saborio
18 Nick Romando
19 Luke Mulholland
28 Chris Schüler
29 Kenny Mansally
49 Devon Sandoval (68’ for Saborio)
10 Luis Gil (76’ for Allen)
27 John Stertzer (87’ for Garcia)